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Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – There was no wild celebration in the Regina locker room following Tuesday’s win over rival West Branch.
No yelling, no screaming and jubilant high fives.
Class 2A seventh-ranked Regina had plenty of reason to celebrate after locking up a conference title for the 10th straight season with a 55-38 win that completed the season sweep of West Branch.
However, the Regals have a lot more on their minds than the fifth consecutive River Valley Conference South Division title it secured on Tuesday.
“Winning a conference championship at Regina is an expectation, we really don’t talk about it that much because our goals are bigger than that,” Regina coach Jeff Wallace said. “It’s important and we don’t take it for granted, we told our kids to enjoy it tonight but it’s an expectation here.”
Alex Wiese scored 23 points and grabbed a school-record 25 rebounds as Regina improved to 15-4 on the season and 14-2 in RVC South play with its eighth consecutive conference win.
Wiese had 11 points and 17 of her 25 rebounds in the second half as Regina broke open a nine-point halftime lead to push its winning streak to four.
“It’s always a goal to win conference, it’s one thing at a time, win conference then win the next game and keep going from there but we want a state championship, that’s what we want,” Wiese said. “Winning conference is great, it’s a step but we want more than this.
West Branch (13-6, 11-6 RVC) got its usual stellar play from senior guard Tatum Koenig who had 20 points and six rebounds but didn’t have an answer for Wiese while losing for the first time in six games.
The 5-foot-11 junior had 10 offensive rebounds among her 25 boards and made 11-of-22 field goals, most coming from point blank range.
“Alex Wiese is a tremendous player and we said we need to keep her off the glass and we struggled with that tonight,” West Branch coach Jarod Tylee said.
West Branch led once, at 19-18 following a Taylor Thein 3-pointer with 4:14 left in the first half but Regina responded with a 10-0 run to close the first half.
Wiese started the run with a 17-foot jumper and added a putback basket in the 10-0 spurt that featured a pair of 3-pointers by junior Kennedy Wallace.
“In that run Wiese had an offensive rebound putback and then we left Wallace and she had two 3s in that run and she is too good of a shooter to leave open,” Tylee said. “I thought that was the difference because if it’s four points at half it’s way different than nine.”
The 10-0 run to end the half came with Regina’s top scorer Mary Crompton on the bench with two fouls and gave the Regals a 28-19 halftime advantage.
“We were down one and we had Mary on the bench with two fouls and we went on a 10-0 run without her on the floor which is really key to end the half so I was really proud of the girls and how they handled that,” Wallace said. “I think that was really the difference in the game that little spurt at the end. It gave us a little cushion and we never gave that up the rest of the game.
Wiese scored six consecutive points to put Regina up 37-24 with 4:20 left in the 3rd quarter before West Branch made one final run.
The Bears got as close as 37-30 when Koenig hit a free throw with 2:19 left but Wiese scored with 35 seconds left in the quarter and Regina used a 10-2 run in the fourth to put the game out of reach.
Koenig finished 7-of-18 from the field on her way to a team-high 20 points but the rest of the Bears were a combined 5-of-29 from the floor and 3-of-14 from 3-point range.
West Branch shot 26 percent from the field while being held under 40 points for the third time this season.
“We know the Koenigs can shoot so we had to get out on them and try to guard them the best we can,” Wiese said. “We just had to play our defense.”
Wallace finished with 13 points for Regina while Crompton and Alexa Lehman each had seven.
Thanks to the 25 rebounds from Wiese the Regals held a 40-33 edge on the glass that included 14 offensive rebounds.
“Honestly I thought we played really well defensively tonight but Wiese beat us on the offensive boards and we gave up a couple of open 3s,” Tylee said. “Some shots didn’t fall but I like the way we defended and I like the way things are headed.”
Regina 13 15 11 16 – 55
West Branch 9 10 11 8 – 38
West Branch (38) – Abbey Fryauf 0-0 1-2 1, Kaiya Luneckas 0-1 0-0 0, Tatum Koenig 7-18 3-4 20, Taylor Thein 1-6 0-0 3, Taya Young 2-10 0-1 5, Sasha Koenig 2-11 4-6 9, Mackenzie Heise 0-1 0-2 0, Team 12-47 8-15 38.
Regina (55) – Mary Crompton 2-9 2-2 7, Alexa Lehman 2-5 1-2 7, Lauren Gaarde 0-4 0-0 0, Greyson Dumont 2-3 1-2 5, Kennedy Wallace 4-7 1-3 13, Alex Wiese 11-22 1-1 23, Katie Dunn 0-1 0-0 0, Team 21-51 6-10 55.
3-point field goals – ICR 7-20 (Crompton 1-5, Lehman 2-3, Gaarde 0-3, Dumont 0-1, Wallace 4-6, Wiese 0-2); WB 6-22 (T. Koenig 3-6, Thein 1-4, Young 1-6, S. Koenig 1-6). Rebounds – ICR 40 (Wiese 25); WB 33 (Heise 7). Turnovers – ICR 11; WB 14. Total fouls – ICR 15; WB 13. Fouled out – None. Technical fouls – None.